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hendog

Driver Loft 8.5 to...12!

46 posts in this topic

I play a TM R9 8.5 driver. It is my Achilles heel. I love the driver in general but I just can't make it work.

My theory is this, please tell me if I am crazy.

I swing at about 100-105 for the driver.

I play a TM R9 3W which is 15 degrees. I can hit the $#@% out it. Smooth and easy, never try to kill it.

If I swing my driver the same way, it goes no where mostly because it does not get up in the air at all and goes barely further than the 3W

So I end up tee'ing it way up and completely changing my swing to try and get it in the air.

Results: Duck hooks, push fades, occasional bombs down the middle.

So the other night I demo'd the R1 and played with the loft. I ended up at 12 degrees and swung just like my 3W. The ball elevated easily and flew fairly straight.

It was hard to tell distance because it was range balls and it was late and they all seem to land in the same spot (3W and Driver) even though it could be a considerable difference.

Now I am thinking about buying the R1.

Does this at all seem reasonable (I understand that its impossible to know for sure without being there or knowing my swing and game so just looking for opinions and thoughts)

Edit: I never said what my theory was :) More loft, swing like 3W, ball goes in the air and I get more distance than 3W without having to change my swing.

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The slower the swing speed, the higher the loft you want. Of course this is all relative to your swing dynamics, and golf shaft. But, a higher swing speed wants a lower loft because he generates enough height in the ball flight with pure velocity, rather than spin. A slower swing speed can gain more distance with backspin, rather than just ball velocity.

I would say your hitting your 3 wood better because its a shorter club. Might want to give shortening your driver down a try. If its a taylormade driver, its probably at 45-46 inches long. Take it down to 44 inches. A typical 3 wood is 43 inches.

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The slower the swing speed, the higher the loft you want. Of course this is all relative to your swing dynamics, and golf shaft. But, a higher swing speed wants a lower loft because he generates enough height in the ball flight with pure velocity, rather than spin. A slower swing speed can gain more distance with backspin, rather than just ball velocity.

I would say your hitting your 3 wood better because its a shorter club. Might want to give shortening your driver down a try. If its a taylormade driver, its probably at 45-46 inches long. Take it down to 44 inches. A typical 3 wood is 43 inches.

Good tip. I guess I would have to order a custom shaft from TM since they have those special tips on them.

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Good tip. I guess I would have to order a custom shaft from TM since they have those special tips on them.

You shorten it from the butt end... Take it to a shop and they'll take the grip off, cut it to your desired length and put a new grip on.

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R1 Is less Spinny than most other drivers, so it would cause you to go up in loft, in addition to swinging easy. You can also cut it from the butt to shorten driver length. Just purchase the weights, either from eBay, or golf works, in order get the swingweight/balance where you want it.
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Mr. Desmond, what causes 'spinny'? More spin/less spin off the clubface seems to me a function of loft, possibly smoothness of face, AoA, and um, what else, maybe clubhead speed.  So if the loft on 2 drivers is the same, and most faces are very smooth, how does the R1, by itself, offer less 'spinny'?

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I would go up in loft a degree or 2! And shorten the club to 44.25! I also had the same problem as your having last year, I did the above.. And the difference is massive, the shorter length helps make centre face contact more easily and the loft gives more control and a better flight. As for the spinny scenario, I find that's more about the ball than the club, I went with the low spin e6, I began smashing them straight down the pipe! My driving confidence grew, and then I progressed onto the more spinny rx & rxs, which aren't as spinny as say the pro v1, but they still have enough spin for the short game! Up in loft, down in length... Made my golf a lot easier!
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There's also the shaft to consider! my swing speeds is about 95, so I got a 12* loft driver made at 44.25" with mid kick stiff flex, I'm prob on the cusp of reg/stiff flex, I reckon I could get more distance with a reg but I prefer the better control of the stiff! the difference was instant and I fell in love with her right away! I only hit it approx between 210 to 240yrds but it's consistently straight, a reg flex might add upto 20yrds but my second shot would be from the rough! I friends who have 45.5" 9* reg flex drivers and I never know which fairway they're gonna land on! I believe you have to be a very accomplished golfer to hit drivers over 45" with less than 10* loft consistently, but that's just my experience,
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Mr. Desmond, what causes 'spinny'? More spin/less spin off the clubface seems to me a function of loft, possibly smoothness of face, AoA, and um, what else, maybe clubhead speed.  So if the loft on 2 drivers is the same, and most faces are very smooth, how does the R1, by itself, offer less 'spinny'?

Good question.

Not being an engineer, I'd imagine it is where weight is placed has an effect on spin besides loft.

Not to do with spin, but TM has been placing the weight forward and low - forward gives more ballspeed but is apparently less forgiving, which is why other OEM's like Ping or Cally in their forgiving drivers place it low and back.

For example, R1 is said to be less spinny, as well as Cally RFE, and the SLDR even less spinny. People, even pros, have moved up in loft because of lower, lowest spin heads. Less spin doesn't help a guy like me with a SS approaching 90, so I go up in loft. I don't mind a head that spins - I may move up or down in loft depending on the head. But guys with big, fast swings like these new heads - they can move up in loft - it's all a balance. For example, Pros don't need forgiveness, so with the SLDR, the may move up in loft with a very low spin head and shaft for higher ball speeds and distance.

I don't have those issues.

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I'm not a huge Taylor Made fan, but I think they are spot on with their ads suggesting many golfers could use more loft on their drivers.  Low loft drivers are almost as sexy as blade irons.  I was sort of fascinated to see Phil playing a SLDR (apparently with some stealth paint :-) in the President's cup.  Said he wanted to experiment with the lower MOI and Callaway's version isn't ready yet.  I didn't hear what loft he had.

I did try cutting down a Callaway driver by about an inch, and it did tame it somewhat, but as suggested, you need to readjust the swing weight and I ended up getting a different club.  However, this solution seems to have worked for a lot of people, and you've already got the stick, but I think the best results would really probably come from a replacement shaft with appropriate flex and kick point for the selected length.  This is something that may be best accomplished with a really good fitter, but might well be worth the investment.  Drives in the fairway sure are more fun than trying to figure out how to get out of the weeds/bushes/trees etc. etc. etc.

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I play with an R9 that's 8.5 degrees. It's not the perfect driver for me (especially where I play). There is almost no rollout on any hole on that course and I have to use a more positive angle of attack to hit the ball high enough, especially on the uphill holes.

It's not a huge problem for me to do that but it's not ideal either and I occasionally brush the grass before impact which takes away a little distance on those shots.

I've said it before on this site but I'm not a fan of "adjustable" drivers because of one factor. Every time a setting is adjusted the spine in the shaft is also changed. That leaves me with three options.

1. Find the club face setting that I need and live with low shaft performance.

2. Find the setting that comes closest to fitting the best shaft performance even if it's not the best club face setting.

3. Find the best of both and remove the shaft from the tip and reassemble it so I have the best of both (and never change a setting again).

I tried number 1 for a long time with very little success and many problems wrestling with that rattlesnake. Finally I went to number 2 and have played very well with it. Number 3 is likely the best option but have not gone to the trouble.

BTW. I also play with a 44 inch club even though my wrist to floor measurement is 36 1/2 inches. I hit the ball much more consistent at 44 inches and the more consistent sweet spot impacts more than makes up for the shorter length for my average driving distances. To keep the same swing weight (assuming the old swing weight is ideal) weight has to be added to the head of the club when a club is shortened. If I remember right it's 6 grams for every 1/2 inch cut off. That didn't work out well for me and the head felt heavy so I ended up adding a little less than that.

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I do think its a point of were the Center of Mass is for the club.

Titleist is saying that putting the weight lower and back will decrease spin. Yet Taylormade says its low and front. So apparently low increases launch angle which makes sense. Irons with lower COG tend to get the ball up quicker than an iron with higher COG. Its one of the factors Ralph Maltby uses when he rates clubs for his forgiveness factors.

http://www.tutelman.com/golf/ballflight/gearEffect.php

Not sure if the equation is correct, but it gives you an idea on why the driver has a face roll to it. Also gives you an idea of how the COG effects the driver.

But lets say if Taylormade is able to shift the vertical COG down 1/8 of an inch, for a professional golfer your looking at around 500 less RPM (once again if Tutelman's equation is correct). This is considerably less for an amateur with less ball speed. Most claims by Taylormade on how weighting effects ball flight is mostly due to higher ball speeds. Amateurs will see less of a change due to there lower ball speeds.

Basically the lower you can get the COG the less spin you will have on a driver, because it will create a vertical gear effect due to the roll in the driver face. Since most drivers have a slight curve in the sole, the rearward weighting could actually be higher than a weight positioned forward. When it comes to launch conditions, it only matters were the weight is positioned vertically and horizontally.

So, Taylormade results might be correct, but they are spinning (no pun intended) the information to benefit them. If they were able to achieve a lower weight position further back, you would see no different results. Also, this matches up if you look at the design of the Ping Anser. The back part of the sole has a flare and flat design, which lowers the portion of the sole that normally is higher. It takes some of the common pear shape away from the sole. So, in effect, Ping is able to lower the COG and keep the weight back.

As for shifting the weight horizontally, once again it benefits players with more swing speed. It still has an effect, but its marginal at best for slower swing speeds.

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I think what TM is saying is that low and forward gives more ball speed.

But it also lowers MOI.

I wish they had taken the R1 and increased the sweet spot as they did the SLDR (sweetspot now is also lower on the face).

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That would make sense as well.

Yes it would lower MOI as well. MOI increases the further away the weight gets from the axis of rotation. So moving the weight back increases MOI.

Not entirely short about increasing ball speed. You really can't improve on smash factor because of the COR of the driver.

I would say its more likely that the lower COG, maybe they changed the geometry of the face roll, they could now turn those lower than center hits into longer and higher ball flight. I would guess their increase distance is based on more off center hits than center of the clubface hits.

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TM has suggested people increase the loft and to tee the ball lower to get maximum distance with their new SLDR so it must have to do with the weight placement.

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After reading this thread, I took my wife's driver, which is about an inch and a half or so shorter than mine, to the driving range and tried them side by side. It was no contest. Every ball I hit off of the shorter driver looked playable had it been a tee shot, with a fade, but not a slice. I did tend to hit them off the heel so they launched left and came back right, but this was fine too.

More than a third of the balls I hit off my own driver would have been out of the fairway probably unplayable, were they made on the course. The balls I hit solidly with my driver probably went ten yards further. I was using Top Flight XL drivers, men's and women's for this test. But I managed to hit a couple with decent distance with the shorter driver and even the miss hits, off the heel, mainly, would not have been mulligan bait.

The main thing was the confidence that I was going to hit it good. I think I am going to have the shaft shortened on my Titleist 913 D2 driver, or get fitted for a new shaft, and play with the loft and draw, for next season.

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After reading this thread, I took my wife's driver, which is about an inch and a half or so shorter than mine, to the driving range and tried them side by side. It was no contest. Every ball I hit off of the shorter driver looked playable had it been a tee shot, with a fade, but not a slice. I did tend to hit them off the heel so they launched left and came back right, but this was fine too. More than a third of the balls I hit off my own driver would have been out of the fairway probably unplayable, were they made on the course. The balls I hit solidly with my driver probably went ten yards further. I was using Top Flight XL drivers, men's and women's for this test. But I managed to hit a couple with decent distance with the shorter driver and even the miss hits, off the heel, mainly, would not have been mulligan bait. The main thing was the confidence that I was going to hit it good. [SIZE=13px]I think I am going to have the shaft shortened on my Titleist 913 D2 driver, or get fitted for a new shaft,[/SIZE][SIZE=13px] and play with the loft and draw, for next season.[/SIZE]

I've done this when I was a high er handicapper and I played narrow fairway course. I didn't get much distance b/c balls went up so high but I avoided OBs. It's worth playing around with it.

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A few small studies have been thrown around the internet that those people who were given a longer driver shaft versus a shorter one, they hardly loose any distance with a shorter shaft.

The conclusion, contact dictates more about distance than any possible gains from having a longer driver shaft. Of course a longer shaft will increase distance, but your playing with fire. Long distance guys do it because they are looking for that 1 in 3 drive that bombs 360 yards. For us who have to score, we would benefit from consistent distance

I rather take

280,285,280

then

265, 300, 285

What if that 265 was when i needed to get over a creek 270 yards away. At least i know with a shorter driver what my distance is, instead of playing Russian roulette

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